ANC’s Mzwandile Masina gracious as DA sweeps to power in Ekurhuleni

23 November 2021 - 06:23
Former Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said the ANC was confident of returning to power in the metro. File picture.
Former Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said the ANC was confident of returning to power in the metro. File picture.
Image: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo

The DA has ended the ANC’s 20-year reign in the Ekurhuleni metro after clinching three powerful positions, completely changing the leadership of the municipality.

The DA’s Khetha Shandu was the last councillor to be sworn into a critical position, that of whip of council, on Monday evening. Before this, the party secured two victories with the appointment of Tania Campbell as executive mayor and Raymond Dlamini as council speaker.

They were elected at the inaugural meeting of the new administration, a process that took place over 11 hours.

The municipality is among five metros that were hung and with no outright winner, forcing it to be governed through coalitions or partnerships.

The DA received support from other parties — notably the EFF and ActionSA — to secure their wins as it won only 28.72% support in Ekurhuleni in the November 1 election. 

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu, who arrived at the council chambers moments before the voting commenced, is said to have given the party councillors an instruction to endorse the DA’s candidates in all three positions. 

The ANC appeared not to have a plan nor any agreements with the smaller parties to ensure victory for its candidates. As at 2pm, the party’s provincial chairperson, David Makhura, and a small group of ANC members were looking at spreadsheets — trying to calculate the support they would need to emerge victorious.

However, when speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the meeting, Makhura said he was confident that his party would secure all the major positions.

Campbell was announced the DA’s mayoral candidate at the eleventh hour after the party’s initial mayoral candidate, Refiloe Nt’seke, earlier told TimesLIVE that she had pulled out of the mayoral race.   

Nt’seke said she withdrew because the DA numbers had not been promising. TimesLIVE has, however, learnt that she would have to resign all her other positions in the legislature and would take a huge salary cut if the party had failed to win the metro.

The proceedings were not without drama.

They earlier came to a standstill after a blackout hit. Power was restored through a backup generator and voting continued. Before the election of Campbell they also were disrupted after an altercation between an EFF party agent and an IEC official. ANC members later joined in and a physical fight ensued.

The mood was sombre for the ANC members who were in attendance, with some visibly shedding tears. Some flocked to console and shield former mayor Mzwandile Masina after the devastating loss.

Asked if he was shocked by the outcome and the voting patterns, Masina said he was not. 

“This is politics. How can I be aggrieved? What happened today is democracy in action. I am still intact. I congratulate all the winners and pledge our support. I have spoken to the DA mayor, Tania Campbell, and have assured her of a peaceful transition.”  

The ANC has suffered a similar blow in the Johannesburg metro after losing the mayorship to the DA’s Mpho Phalatse.

Masina said he was not shocked because the ANC had performed poorly in the November elections. 

“I think we did our best as the leadership. We are not going to be in the opposition benches forever, we will work hard and this will give us a chance to reflect on what led to this outcome,” he said.

TimesLIVE


subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.